Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs for use in Scottish schools

starka varna

This 'Viking' song in the old Norn language of Shetland was found there in 1948, and is still sung in Iceland. The Norn words tell of how to sail a boat. Ewan McVicar's new words tell about the Vikings.

Read about and hear a version of Ewan's words sung with a Russian quartet here].

Hear the Norn song here

Norn Words
Starka varna vesta lee
Obediah, obediah
Starka varna vesta lee
Obediah munyeh

Stolla stoyta stonga rerr
What says du? Da bunchka berr
What says du? Da bunchka berr
Littera meyvee drenyeh

Senna poppa warra
Obediah, obediah
Senna poppa warra
Obediah munyeh

SCOTS WORDS
Starka varna vesta lee
Pull your oar, pull your oar
Starka varna vesta lee
Pull your oar bravely

We come to gather, not to fight
But if we fight we will be right

Back at home our children cry
We must feed them or they'll die

The ice comes to kill our fields
So we must come to take your yield

If you will not fight with us
Where is your honour? in the dust